In Conclusion Are Probiotics Good For You Yes
The next time you are looking to amp up your immune arsenal, do not overlook the wonderful world of probiotics! While commonly hailed for their digestion-boosting benefits, these beneficial bacteria have also been shown to help regulate the bodys immune system. 80% of these bacteria resides in the gut! Through modulating immune signals, increasing the activity of protective white blood cells, and improving the mucosal lining, probiotics are one of our top picks for supporting our health during the cold and flu season.
Choosing A Probiotic For Immunity
If you choose to take a supplement to boost your probiotic intake, the most beneficial probiotic bacteria falls into a few main genera: Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, and Saccharomyces. Each of these genera contains many species. In fact, of the 500 species of bacteria identified that inhabit our colons, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are two of the most common.
The best probiotic supplements for the immune system will contain a variety of different strains. Research is still evaluating which strains are optimal for specific health concerns, which is why a product with a large variety of species is recommended.
The other factor to consider when choosing a probiotic for immunity is to look for products that have a high number of colony-forming units . Look for a product with at least 1 billion CFU, but 10-20 billion is probably ideal.
Also consider varying your supplement from time to time. If you are always taking the same probiotic product with the same exact types of bacteria in it, you are not providing a lot of variety to your gut. Therefore, you should switch up your brand and/or strain of probiotics to get the best result.
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Probiotics
Its estimated that there are roughly 10 trillion microorganisms living on the human body, with the majority of them being found in the gut. These bacteria are essential for digestion, helping to break down the food you eat and making it possible for your body to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream. Without the bacteria living in your gut, you would have a significantly impaired digestive system.
However, bacteria dont just break down your food. They have many other functions in the body. Here are a few other benefits of taking probiotics to help maintain the right gut bacterial balance:
- Helps alleviate common digestive problems, including bloating, IBS and constipation.
- Reduces the symptoms of allergies and eczema.
- May help boost your mood. Taking a probiotic can help boost levels of serotonin, improving symptoms of depression.
- May help regulate blood pressure in people at risk for hypertension.
- Regulates weight-related hormones, which may promote weight loss.
- Boosts immune function. Its estimated that up to 80% of your immune activity takes place in your gut, and bacteria play a major role.
These little microbes truly are our partners in health. Isnt it interesting that while some microbes can keep us healthy, others make us sick?
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How To Build A Healthy Microbiome
One way to foster healthy intestinal bacteria is to eat more of the foods these bugs like to eatnamely, fiber. Increasing your intake of plant fibers from vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds is like filling a bird-feeder with the kind of seeds that the beautiful songbirds you want attract like best. If you feed them, they will come!
And if we want to attract a lot of different types of songbirdser, bacteriathen we want to put out a variety of foods. That means you dont just want to get all your fiber from a single source, such as a fiber supplement. You want to get it fiber from lots of different kinds of vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds.
Another way to nurture a healthy gut is to consume foods that contain beneficial bacteria. This includes things like yogurt, kefir, and other cultured dairy products kim-chi, sauerkraut, and other fermented vegetables miso, tempeh, natto, and other fermented soy products and kombucha, which is a sort of fermented tea.
Now, to be honest, its not entirely clear how many of those bacteria actually survive their trip through the digestive tract and set up permanent housekeeping in the gut. But even if they are just passing through, they appear to be the ideal type of houseguest that leaves the place a bit better than they found it.
Best Zinc Supplements To Boost Your Immune System
If you’re zinc deficient, you may be looking for a supplement. You’ve come to the right place.
Taylor Leamey writes about all things wellness, specializing in mental health, sleep and nutrition coverage. She has invested hundreds of hours into studying and researching sleep and holds a Certified Sleep Science Coach certification from the Spencer Institute. Taylor also holds bachelor’s degrees in both Psychology and Sociology.
Zinc is a necessary trace mineral that our body relies on to carry out vital chemical reactions, grow cells, heal damaged tissues and maintain an optimal immune system. Zinc is at the center of a lot of bodily functions. The good news is that our bodies don’t actually need that much zinc.
The majority of people get all the zinc they need from their diet. Still, people with gastrointestinal disorders, those on medications that may increase zinc loss and people who are breastfeeding may need a little help in the zinc department.
According to the National Institutes of Health, adults should not consume more than 40 mg of zinc each day. It’s a trace mineral, so our bodies don’t need that much of it. If you take more than the recommended amount each day, you’ll likely experience stomach distress and discomfort. It’s also advised that you take zinc after a meal and avoid ingesting on an empty stomach as it can cause nausea.
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How Long Does It Take Probiotics To Work For Your Immune System
Its tough to say exactly how quickly probiotics might start working, Mills says. Different strains of probiotics, the amount you take and the quality of the food or supplement will affect when or if you see results. More research may bring answers.
Theres reason to be hopeful. Theres enough evidence to say probiotics may have some validity and its worth pursuing, both in research and in the foods that we choose in a balanced diet, Mills says.
Can Probiotics Boost Your Immune System
Fun fact: Did you know that there are about the same number of bacterial cells as human cells in your body? That means that there are a whole lot of bacteria living inside of you RIGHT NOW! You are half bacteria! This fact is actually quite amazing and extremely beneficial.
The good news is that most of these bacteria are necessary and even essential for optimal health. These helpful bugs are needed to digest your food, extract important nutrients, protect your body from other pathogens and also keep things running smoothly with your digestion. One important role they play is keeping you healthy by communicating regularly with your immune system.
In order to stay in tip top health, you need to also keep these little guys healthy. One way to do this is to be sure you have the right number of beneficial bacteria living in your gut. When the good guys are around, they help your immune system function at its best. Certain types of bacteria taken in supplement form or found in foods such as fermented products and some dairy are called probiotics. There are many health benefits of probiotics, but one in particular is the connection between probiotics and the immune system.
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What Should I Consider When Researching Probiotics
The potential benefits of probiotics are widespread, but there’s no one-size-fits-all application. There are many different probiotics, each strain performing a separate function or producing a different benefit in the body. Additionally, probiotic supplementation is an exciting and growing area of research. The current literature supports their use for various conditions, primarily within digestive health.
Are Probiotics Right For Everyone
Probiotics have a good safety record for people who are generally healthy. If they occur at all, side effects usually consist of mild digestive symptoms like gas. As with any drug or supplement, always talk to your health care team before taking any probiotic. This is especially important if you have a suppressed immune system, as some people occasionally report serious complications, such as infections.
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Probiotics And Your Immune System
It doesnt matter if you eat foods high in probiotics or take a supplement, both will help to flood your body with more healthy bacteria, reinforcing the bacteria already in your body. The more bacteria there are in your intestines, the easier it will be for your body to fight disease and stop infections from spreading. Not to mention protect the lining in your intestines and increase your ability to absorb nutrients whats not to love?
With all the many health benefits of probiotics, the most impressive is how they can give you an immunity boost in a way no other supplement can. They essentially work from the inside out to protect your body, leading to a stronger immune system that is better able to defend itself against all illnesses that come your way.
Why Should You Not Take Probiotics
Theres really no reason to take an over-the-counter probiotic unless it’s prescribed by your doctor for a specific ailment. There are risks: Starting probiotics or taking too many can cause an allergic reaction, gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea, according to Cleveland Clinic. If you have a compromised immune system, introducing new bacteria to your body could make it harder for your body to heal, and even make you sicker. Dont take a probiotic unless it’s recommended by your doctor.
Another potential concern about OTC probiotics? Regulation of their sale in the United States is convoluted. They can be classified as a food, a drug, or a supplement. Any probiotic supplement you buy at the store or online is not FDA-approved. Cohen noted the murky regulation, or lack thereof, in an article in the September 2018 JAMA Internal Medicine titled Probiotic Safety No Guarantees.
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What Types Of Bacteria Are In Probiotics
Probiotics may contain a variety of microorganisms. The most common are bacteria that belong to groups called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Other bacteria may also be used as probiotics, and so may yeasts such as Saccharomyces boulardii.
Different types of probiotics may have different effects. For example, if a specific kind of Lactobacillus helps prevent an illness, that doesnât necessarily mean that another kind of Lactobacillus or any of the Bifidobacterium probiotics would do the same thing.
Garden Of Life Primal Defense Ultra
Garden of Life Primal Defense ULTRA has somehow managed to enter into this years probiotic supplement rankings in an impressive fourth position, easily beating off much of the competition.
- Available in bottles containing 90 capsules
- Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
- Contains a selection of 13 different bacterial cultures
- Provides up to 15 billion live organisms
- Formulated for rapid and comprehensive absorption
With a vast array of different bacterial cultures and as many as 15 billion live microorganisms provided in each capsule, this is quite clearly an amazing probiotic that will help to keep your digestive system running at full capacity every day of the week.
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Certain Probiotic Strains Can Help Keep Your Heart Healthy
Probiotics may help keep your heart healthy by lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.
Certain lactic acid-producing bacteria may reduce cholesterol by breaking down bile in the gut .
Bile, a naturally occurring fluid mostly made of cholesterol, helps digestion.
A review of 5 studies found that eating a probiotic yogurt for 28 weeks reduced total cholesterol by 4% and LDL cholesterol by 5% .
Another study conducted over 6 months found no changes in total or LDL cholesterol. However, the researchers did find a small increase in HDL cholesterol .
Consuming probiotics may also lower blood pressure. A review of 9 studies found that probiotic supplements reduce blood pressure, but only modestly .
In order to experience any benefits related to blood pressure, supplementation had to exceed 8 weeks and 10 million colony-forming units daily .
Probiotics may help protect the heart by reducing bad LDL cholesterol levels and modestly lowering blood pressure.
How Can Probiotics Support Immune Function
Keeping microbiota balanced in the gut is key to preventing illness. Why? Because a whopping 70 percent of the immune system is located in the gut. This means if your digestive health is suffering, chances are your immune system will follow suit. And when you’re lacking in the immune system department, you may find that illnesses such as the common cold and flu find you much more easily. In other words, if you’ve been getting sick more than usual, you may want to consider bumping up your probiotic intake to support a healthy gut.
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Probiotics Can Help Prevent And Treat Diarrhea
Probiotics are widely known for their ability to prevent diarrhea or reduce its severity.
Diarrhea is a common side effect of taking antibiotics. It occurs because antibiotics can negatively affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut (
A review of 15 human studies found supplementing with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for 12 months can improve anxiety, depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder and memory .
One study followed 70 chemical workers for 6 weeks. Those who consumed 100 grams of probiotic yogurt per day or took a daily probiotic capsule experienced benefits for general health, depression, anxiety and stress .
Benefits were also seen in a study of 40 patients with depression.
Taking probiotic supplements for 8 weeks decreased depression levels and reduced levels of C-reactive protein and hormones such as insulin, compared to people who did not take a probiotic .
Research shows taking probiotics may help improve symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress and memory, among others.
A Quick Introduction To The Immune System
Although everyone knows the immune system fights disease, not many people understand what it is. Put simply, the human immune system is a network of many parts. It contains proteins, cells, tissues, and organs located throughout the body.
All the various components that form the immune system work together to protect from pathogens, toxins, and even stress.
However, you may be surprised to learn that 70-80% of the immune system is located inside the gut.
Once you realize this, it becomes easier to understand why probiotics play such an important role in warding off disease and supporting good health.
Power Up On Probiotics
Probiotics are essential to good gut health and there are many foods rich in probiotics that you can simply add to your diet.
As well as yoghurt, probiotics are found in many fermented foods, including kefir , kimchi , tempeh , miso , sauerkraut and kombucha . While kombucha might sound exotic, you can source this probiotic-packed sweet drink across Scotland.
Small-batch, Scottish kombucha makers include Leftfield Kombucha in the Berwickshire, Bad Gal Boocha in Fife, Ave Kombucha in the Cairngorms and Clever Kombucha in Glasgow.
Probiotics can also be found in supplements and special drinks such as Yakult, added Dr Carrie Ruxton, who says we should try to combine probiotics with prebiotics, which act like fertilisers for live probiotic microbes already in the gut.
Prebiotics are dietary substances that boost numbers of friendly bacteria and promote their activity, she said. The most accessible prebiotics are tea, onions, garlic and leeks. These have been proven to help rebalance our gut microbiota.
How Much Zinc Should Someone Take
How much zinc you should take depends on your age and life stage. According to the National Institutes of Health, children under three need 3 mg of zinc. Children four to eight years old require 5 mg. Once children enter their preteen/teen years, their need for zinc increases. 14- to 18-year-olds males require 11 mg while females need 8 mg.
Adult women require 8 mg of zinc, which increases to 11 to 12 mg during pregnancy and lactation. Adult men require 11 mg.
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Natures Bounty Probiotic Acidophilus
Probiotic Acidophilus by Natures Bounty is another newcomer to our probiotic supplement rankings, offering a cost-effective way of adding more friendly bacteria to your diet.
- Contains 100 million different microorganisms
- Brought to you by a popular and trusted supplement brand
- Available in bottles containing 100 tablets
- Also available as a chewable wafer
- Helps to maintain a high bacteria population in your gut
This probiotic is available in tablet and chewable wafer form so it should be suitable even for those of you who dont like to swallow tablets.
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